OBITUARY: Shirley Fay (Maupin) Shaffer

 Shirley Fay (Maupin) Shaffer

July 5, 1949 ~ February 28, 2022

Times were good. It was a warm, pleasant day in July. A young, married, pregnant mother enjoyed a 4th of July baseball game that her husband was pitching in. Concerns were elevated because the game was tied at the top of the ninth, and the young mother started to go into labor. Luckily the tie was broken, the side retired, and the young couple rushed to the hospital July 5, 1949 – Shirley Fay Maupin was born to Virgil F. Maupin and Donna M. Maupin. She was the second child of six (Joyce, Mike, Edna, Jim, Donna). At an early age, Shirley found one of her lifelong loves of reading. She read everything that she could get her hands on. In her own words, “You could be on the moon one minute and then on a pirate ship looking for treasure, and then on the trail chasing Jesse James. It’s all at your fingertips.” Reading increases knowledge, reflected in her high school report cards. All A’s except in conduct where she received U’s. She realized early she was more intelligent than most of the teachers that were being paid to teach her; disregarding her father’s advice, she took it upon herself to prove it to them. 

As was customary in those days, children would get summer jobs in their early teens. She worked at the JV Tavern as a waitress and stayed at the Basque Inn when it was a boarding house. Shortly after, she went to McDermott, Nevada. She worked her way up to a short-order cook. She stayed in the restaurant industry for over four decades. One day, while we were watching an episode of Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsey, she was pleased when he said, “Short order cooks Bleeping amazing.” I asked her to work for him because he cusses so much. She quickly replied yes, because, in her world, she could work for anyone who kept a clean kitchen. No matter how big of horse’s ass he was. 

She graduated from Jordan Valley as a Mustang and shortly after went to Maryland to become a lady sailor; however, her time was cut short because of a diving accident. Shirley had broken her back and was sent home with an medical discharge. In July 1969, she had just given birth to her oldest of three children, a son. She said that looking into that babies’ eyes, it was the first time she felt unconditional love. She knew that no matter what happened, that child would love her for the rest of her life. A year later, Shirley, Mike (son), and her mom jumped into a car with Gene and his mom to go to the McDermott, Nevada, where they were married on August 3 or 4, depending on who was telling the story. This is where she learned about how ornery Gene could be. She was carded by a guard in the casino after they were married. She didn’t have any identification; however, she could be there if she was married, and her husband had ID. She told the guard that she was married to that guy playing blackjack. When the guard questioned Gene about Shirley, he replied that he had never seen her before and had no idea who she was. She was escorted out of the casino. 

They were together through thick and thin until 2004 when Gene passed away. By 1975, after having two more children (John and Suzy), she read a book that would forever change her life, “Prison To Praise” by Merlin R. Carothers. After reading that book, she asked Lord if he was “real” to show her. That day she had an encounter with Holy Spirit in her kitchen. She never looked back. She chased after the Lord and knowledge of the Lord like a relentless bloodhound. She was part of the Assemblies of God Church in Vale Christian Life Fellowship in Ontario. She was a member of the Healing Rooms in Ontario, Oregon. She was on countless prayer chains and an active behind-the-scenes member of more Christian conferences than be counted. 

In the early 80s, Shirley did seasonal work for harvest time with USDA. She started out as a sorter and moved her way up to an inspector. She inspected potatoes, onions, and corn. One time she had a farmer ask her what her favorite color was. Shirley asked him why, and he replied that he would buy her a new car that was the very same color if she would change a couple of her numbers on her report. She laughed it off. Her boss saw the farmer leaving and asked her what they were talking about? She told her boss that he was joking with her about buying her a car if she would change her report. Her boss said if he didn’t know if she had great integrity or if she was naïve. He said the farmer was very serious because each number meant millions of dollars. Either way, he would take it. 

She loved yard sales and secondhand stores. Shirley always felt like each one was a treasure hunt. She collected old jewelry, ruby red cape cod glass, rocks, and books. More books than you could imagine. Shirley confessed that she would love to have her own library if she could. She had three children Mike, John, and Suzy; 10 grandchildren, Dillion Shaffer, Brendan Shaffer, Christopher Torres, Cierra Shaffer, David Holcomb, Christopher Sharp, Bobby Jones, Calvin Shaffer, Eli Shaffer, and Garrett Shaffer; and one great-grandchild to be announced. Shirley F Shaffer started the second phase of her journey with the Lord on Feb. 28, 2022. She was preceded in death by her husband Gene E Shaffer, and granddaughter Cierra H. Shaffer. 

Everyone wants to impact the people they love on, people they encounter, no matter how long they were together. Their community, generation, and their time in history. We all want to have an impact to leave our mark. For those who knew her, I know you have had those moments. If you didn’t know Shirley, just get a Malheur County Roadmap. Start at Vale, go west on Highway 20/26 to Juntura. Go south on the County Road Shumway until you see Stockage Mountains. Just a little north, you will see Toyota Ridge.

A memorial service for Shirley will be held at Christian Life Fellowship Church 366 SE 5th St., Ontario, at 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 12.